Watching the protests from afar, I’ve been impressed with the clear message for justice from everyone I’ve read or seen through traditional media and social media posts. 

The outpouring of a sense of community each morning to help clean up the neighborhood and donations of supplies pouring was heartwarming, as were the messages from the vast majority of those protesting. 

Possibly the best illustration of humanity came on the Interstate 35W bridge deck Sunday afternoon. A fuel truck was barreling down on thousands of protesters but stopped before anyone was injured. It remains to be known how he ended up on the road and didn’t kill anyone. Some members of the angry crowd pulled the driver from the cab. Instead of joining, Justin Goeman tried to intervene and protect the driver from the crowd. 

According to video, Goeman yelled: “Stop! We cannot hurt him! It defeats our purpose! Stop!” 

The former Chaska High School football player (a nod to sports editor Eric Krauscher for making the connection) gave a wonderful interview to Fox9 about peace and going about justice the right way, be sure to not take sole credit for what he did, instead crediting a group around him for banding together to stop it.

Millenacker keeps going

Just as COVID-19 took hold in Japan, Todd Millenacker took part in the Tokyo Marathon as part of the Bloomington Sister City program. 

Two years ago the Bloomington native ran the equivalent of summiting Mount Everest going up and down a ski slope at Hyland Hills Ski Area. The challenge took more than 12 hours to accomplish as he was joined on the trail by two friends while an endless parade of family and friends keep the trio refreshed and entertained throughout the night. 

Last summer challenge included swimming the equivalent of the English Channel (21 miles) with the same buddies, this time in a pool at Foss Swim School in Eden Prairie. Earlier in the summer, he churned out 101 miles by foot over two days from the Culver’s in Albertville to the family cabin near Alexandria.

Next up for Millenacker: Traverse all 150 miles of the city streets where he and his family have called home for the last seven years, Savage, in June.

Millenacker asked his wife how many miles she thought were in Savage. She replied that he should ask the city hall. 

“I shot them a note, one thing let to another and now I’m running every street in Savage,” Millenacker said as the City of Savage plans to track its progress on a giant map at city hall. “Basically, I’m their mascot and it’s their way of encouraging people to get out and explore Savage.”

He’s already run 63 miles over 12 hours on the treadmill at his home during the “Stay at Home” order.

Scholastica joins MIAC

Two significant developments in the Minnesota Interscholastic Athletic Conference were released late last week including the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth moving from one NCAA Division III conference, the UMAC to join the MIAC. The Saints are perennial favorites in each sport in the UMAC piling up 16 Jerome Kruse Awards from the UMAC for earning the most points in a season-long competition across all sports. The Saints have won 210 regular season and 106 postseason conference championships. 

The move to the MIAC includes football, joining Macalester which is also moving back to the conference to become the 13th member of the MIAC. St. Scholastica offers 22 sports with 20 competing as part of the MIAC. The exception is the men’s and women’s Nordic ski programs which compete in the Central Collegiate Ski Association.

State High School League update

A busy Minnesota State High School League board of directors meeting on Monday included several developments including a move to start the summer coaching waiver period from June 1 to June 15. This is when summer training by coaches and athletes can begin through August 7 before the no-contact period begins.

Wrestling will expand postseason rosters from 19 to 21 and can compete at JV/varsity levels at the same event toward a limit of 16 contests. An expansion of state wrestling to include full consolation for individuals was not adopted.

MSHSL will not refund school membership fees or officials registration fees for the canceled spring season.

The board approved a change in language for Bylaw 110 which includes semesters enrolled – 12 consecutive semesters over six consecutive years. An application process is in place to address more semesters. The change will be voted on in November by the Representative Assembly.

Follow Jason Olson on Twitter at @SunSportsJason.

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